The NCAA is stupid, but you already knew that.
After ruling Memphis center James Wiseman -- the presumptive No. 1 overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft -- ineligible for the current collegiate season for accepting $11,500 in moving expenses, the governing body has reversed course ... sort of.
On Wednesday, the NCAA ruled Wiseman re-eligible before suspending him for 12 games, and mandated that he donate the same sum to a charity of his choice before being cleared to play.
NCAA also says Wiseman "must donate $11,500 to a charity of his choice." Wiseman will be cleared to play on Jan. 12 at South Florida. https://t.co/PCNVC5V44u— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 20, 2019
This is where the NCAA's hypocrisy truly shines through. Wiseman was ruled ineligible for accepting money -- money he and his family didn't have -- to move to Memphis in high school, back when current Tigers coach Penny Hardaway coached Wiseman at East High School. Now, in order to get back on the court, the NCAA is making him dig up $11,500, even though the responsibilities and obligations required to fulfill his collegiate basketball scholarship make it all but impossible to hold down an additional job.
But we can't pay college athletes. No, that would be un-American.
Hypocrisy aside, the NCAA coming to its senses is good news for Wiseman -- and for any team picking near the top of the upcoming draft.
That includes the Warriors, who have already scouted Wiseman up close and currently occupy the worst record in the NBA. Once he returns to action on Jan. 12, Wiseman will have an opportunity to play in as many as 16 games before any conference tournaments and March Madness. That should provide ample tape for NBA teams to evaluate someone who is widely regarded as the best big man available in the draft.